Bukhari (heater)

Bukhari (heater)

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A bukhāri is a traditional space heater from the northern areas of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

, which is typically a wood-burning stove
Wood-burning stove
For a list of stove types see Stove .A wood-burning stove is a heating appliance capable of burning wood fuel and wood-derived biomass fuel. Generally the appliance consists of a solid metal closed fire chamber, a grate and an adjustable air control...

. Bukharis consist of a wide cylindrical fire-chamber at the base in which wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

 or other fuel is burned and a narrower cylinder on the top that helps in heating the room and acts as a chimney
A chimney is a structure for venting hot flue gases or smoke from a boiler, stove, furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere. Chimneys are typically vertical, or as near as possible to vertical, to ensure that the gases flow smoothly, drawing air into the combustion in what is known as the...

. The base of an Indian bukhari is wider than that of most western wood-burning stoves. Bukharis are found in the entire northern belt of the region, i.e. Afghanistan, northern Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

, Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

 and Northeast India.

Use in poultry farming

Bukharis are in widespread use by poultry farmers in North India to keep birds warm during winter nights.

Fuel alternatives and conservation

Forest conservation imperatives have resulted in the development of alternative designs for bukharis in India, including kerosene
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...

-based versions and bukharis that are more fuel-efficient than the traditional varieties.


Frequently, bukhari chimneys are not long enough to vent smoke outside the house, resulting in annual deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after enough inhalation of carbon monoxide . Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, being colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect...

 in the region. Public authorities and mass media in the region often exhort people not to use angithi
An angithi is a traditional brazier used for space-heating and cooking in the northern areas of the Indian subcontinent, mainly in North India, Pakistan and Nepal...

or bukharis in closed rooms. Bukharis also present a hazard for children due to their hot metallic surfaces and easy hinged access to the fuel-burning area.


The term bukhār is a Hindi-Urdu word derived from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

meaning heat or fever. In modern Persian, the term bukhari generically refers to a heater.